You may have seen on my facebook page, that I recently passed an Ofsted approved 12 hour paediatric first aid course. I’m a photographer, why do I need a first aid course? Well, I don’t, but in this blog I give you a little insight as to why I chose to complete the course, who I completed it with, and why I totally recommend them for all parents and families!
Why I chose to complete a first aid course
I never thought I’d be confident enough to carry out first aid on anyone, let alone a fragile tiny baby or boisterous wriggly child. Would the sight of any blood be too much? Would I do a sufficient job? What if I done it wrong? But as Perfect Shot Photography has grown over the past 2 years and I fully understand the paramount importance of newborn and child safety in all of my sessions, I decided to look into it. Completing an Ofsted approved certified first aid course, would hopefully give all parents added confidence when booking photography experiences with me. I hope that I will never need to use anything I learnt, in any of my photography sessions, but knowing I have the knowledge of what do, and more importantly, the confidence to be able to carry it out successfully, helps me through every session and gives every parent added reassurance.
One thing I learnt, was that knowing the signs and symptoms of various medical situations is just as important as the application of first aid techniques such as CPR, dealing with breaks and the like, which you think of ‘first aid’ to be. Not every medical situation is instantly visible, and I have already been able to advise parents when they have mentioned bumped heads and grazed chins – for which they have been extremely grateful.
Mini First Aid - who are they?
Mini First Aid was set up by Mum of six, Kate Ball in January 2014, and they offer baby & child first aid classes to parents and carers across the country.
“Our Multi Award winning classes are delivered in a relaxed and comfortable style and give you confidence to know what actions to take if faced with a medical emergency.”
Mini First Aid had popped up on my social media feeds several times over the past year and I started to follow who they were and what they were offering. Their feeds were an abundance of images showing relaxed learning environments, lots of positive and relevant information and reviews that led me to believe one of these classes was for me. (If Giovanni Fletcher thought they were good, why wouldn’t they be?!) So I got in touch with Ruth, my local Mini First Aid instructor and we discussed which course would be best for me. Ruth had previously taught newborn photographers, and worked with young children in hospitals herself prior to her Mini First Aid journey, so knew what information I needed and during the course and made sure I was confident with each piece of information that was especially relevant to what I may need to use ‘in work’ every step of the way.
What did I learn?
The course covers everything from asthma, animal stings and allergic reactions right through to breaks, concussion, shock and CPR. You’d be forgiven for thinking “why would she need to know any of that, when she’s only with my baby/child for a couple of hours to take photographs?” at this point in time. However, did you know that concussion can take up to 24 hours to show any signs or symptoms? Did you know that the rash for meningitis is one of the last symptoms to show, and your child could be suffering from the virus hours before you think you should be doing the glass test? Yet the glass test is the most common known symptom.
This takes me back to my earlier point of it’s just as important to know the signs and symptoms, as it is to know how to do CPR and treat a broken bone. For example; You’re booked in with me and your child falls over and grazes their chin. You’re likely to get in touch to ask ‘are we still able to shoot, and can you remove the graze from their photographs?’ The answer will not only be “yes, I can edit out that graze” but more importantly I will also ask, “How is (your child), when did it happen?” I can also advise to keep an eye on them for any signs of tiredness, dizziness and sickness over the next few hours, if it has only just happened, because they could develop concussion, in which case it would be best to reschedule the session for another day when they are feeling more like themselves. Children fall over, get bumps and bruises all the time, you can’t wrap them in bubble wrap, and although your children are only with me for a short time, time can save lives, at the end of the day.
Having learnt the practical side of CPR, I also learnt the theory side of choking and the airways on little ones. This means I have even more in-depth knowledge about your newborn baby’s head, neck and airway for posing, to capture those squishy, curled up images when they are just a few days old. Of course I already knew HOW to pose safely and to composite images (cue another blog post), but now I understand WHY as well. Also, your baby is undressed and swaddled in wraps during their photography session, and I am constantly checking on their skin, hands and feet to ensure their body is kept at the correct temperature, so if I was to notice anything, I would be able to point it out to the parents, if I felt it necessary.
Do Mini First Aid only teach professionals?
Good news! Mini First Aid runs classes for parents and carers as well, not just professionals, and I would highly recommend Ruth who runs the classes in and around Cambridge. Her groups are held in local community rooms and you can also arrange private classes for families and small groups of friends at your home! Six months ago, I could not have told you much about anything in first aid, other than run burns under cold taps and some of the information you see in adverts on television and social media about the signs of strokes and heart attacks. After Ruth’s course, I feel I could confidently carry out CPR on a baby, child or adult, bandage a wound, use an epi-pen and identify symptoms in various other medical situations.
By no means am I claiming to be a newly qualified nurse or medical professional, but having that little extra knowledge behind me gives me confidence that I would at least be able to help in a situation, should it be necessary.
To find out more about Mini First Aid and to see when the next class near you is running, visit www.minifirstaid.co.uk. If you’re in Cambridgeshire, visit Ruth’s facebook page to find out when her scheduled classes are or visit https://cambridge.minifirstaid.co.uk/